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WSU News Research

Classification places WSU in highest research category

The latest version of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education ranks WSU as one of 94 public and private research institutions nationwide with very high research activity. (Photo: James Petersen, vice provost for research.)Washington State, the University of Washington and Montana State University are the only three universities in the six-state region – Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – that are ranked in the highest research category by Carnegie.”I am very pleased that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching continues to recognize WSU as one of a select group of institutions with very high research activities,” said James Petersen, … » More …

WSU researchers seek to spark youth interest in engineering

WSU researcher Denny Davis and colleagues have been awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation that seeks to improve student interest in math in secondary grades and better understand the factors affecting student interest in engineering and science careers.These questions have become of increasing importance in the last few years as the number of American students entering engineering has stagnated. Leaders in industry and academics are increasingly concerned that without maintaining interest and competitiveness in the hard sciences, mathematics and engineering, the U.S. will lose its leading edge in the global marketplace.Through the recently established Engineering Education Research Center, the researchers … » More …

‘Innovators’ series heralds research achievements

Diabetes. Genetics. Infectious disease. Cancer. These timely topics of today’s health headlines also are the subjects of innovative research ongoing at Washington State University. But the quality and scope of achievement by WSU faculty has not been fully appreciated, especially among influential business and civic leaders on the west side of the state. WSU set out to change that in fall 2005. The university sponsored a series of biotechnology presentations by top research faculty who put forth their visions for a vibrant future for those who live in Washington — and the world. Among other benefits, WSU’s successful fall “Innovators” series resulted in: • more … » More …

Student helps assure diamonds stay forever

A WSU graduate student hopes his undergraduate research project results in a few less broken hearts this Valentine’s Day.In the research project, sponsored by Pounders Jewelers and Hi-Rel Laboratories in Spokane, Colin Merriman worked with David Bahr and Grant Norton, professors in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, to better understand the problem of losing diamonds out of ring settings.Every year, millions of dollars worth of diamonds or fine gems are lost when they fall out of their gold ring settings because of corrosion at the microscopic level of the material holding them in place. The gold is particularly susceptible to corrosion when it … » More …

WSU Spokane presents seminar on sustainability

The WSU Spokane Third Friday Seminar Series presents “What Accounts for the Adoption of ‘Sustainability’ Policies and Programs in American Cities?” on Friday, Jan. 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Health Sciences Building.Hosted by the WSU Spokane Office of Research and the Health Research and Education Center, the lecture features political science professor and former WSU Spokane interim chancellor Nicholas Lovrich. Wine and cheese will be served.Dr. Lovrich’s presentation is based on a Spring 2005 joint graduate seminar in environmental science and political science, in which 10 graduate students investigated the three rival theories of creative class, social capital, and political culture … » More …

Centralized planning eases logistics for busy faculty

Faculty who want to work with keen, diligent undergraduate students can be hindered by many obstacles. Time, money and logistics -— how to find the right students and how to get them (if they’re not already at WSU) to campus — are among the most daunting. But WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) has found ways around these roadblocks, and the Graduate School is collaborating with MME to leverage that experience to benefit the entire university. In the works is a summer research program that would bring undergraduates to the Pullman campus from early June to early August. Like MME, some other units … » More …

Cancer research licensing agreement announced

PULLMAN – Washington State University and Exelixis Plant Sciences, Inc., have entered a commercial licensing agreement covering patent rights and biological materials for use of plant cell cultures in the production of paclitaxel and other valuable taxane products used in cancer treatments.The rights granted by the WSU Research Foundation under the this commercial license are related to pioneering discoveries made by Rodney Croteau, a fellow in WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry and a scientist in the Agricultural Research Center.Because they suppress cell division, paclitaxel and other taxanes are important therapeutic compounds for the treatment of cancer and other the diseases. The market for paclitaxel and newer … » More …

Research legacy expands

What is it that remains behind when a lifetime researcher or professor closes the office door a final time and moves on to other interests? In the case of Travis McGuire, professor, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, who retired last May with 40 years of service to WSU and, ultimately, the world, the final outcome is still expanding and being written.Though he still carries a part-time appointment, McGuire left behind a legacy of thriving programs and talented individuals who are carrying on his passion, and his vision. What began as McGuire’s Ph.D. project evolved into work that eventually changed the field of equine immunology … » More …

Older teens need more sleep, later wake-up times

Many teens are chronically sleep deprived, resulting in poor school performance, impaired cognitive and memory functioning, and mood problems. This was one of the points made by internationally renowned sleep researcher Mary Carskadon in her December 2 lecture, “How Development of Sleep-Wake Regulation Affects Teen Sleep,” at WSU Spokane. A professor of psychiatry at the Brown University School of Medicine and director of chronobiology and sleep research at the E.P. Bradley Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, Carskadon has done extensive research in the area of sleep/wake behavior in adolescents. Her pioneering work has challenged some commonly held beliefs, including the hypothesis that kids need less … » More …

Moral reasoning, teaching lacking

Moral reasoning among athletes is at a record low and declining rapidly, according to 18 years of research and statistics gathered by WSU’s Jennifer Beller and University of Idaho’s Sharon Stoll. “When I first heard that (supposition), I thought ‘What does that say about me,’ ” said Beller, who played field hockey and tennis throughout high school and college — enough to advance to the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) national tennis championships. So in 1987 that news propelled her to focus her doctoral research on the topic, with Stoll as her principal adviser. To Beller’s dismay, their study and statistics supported the … » More …